A Red State-Blue State Angle to Yellow Pages Popularity

I was playing around with Google Trends searches for the term Yellow Pages the other day and noticed what appears to be a difference in the popularity of yellow pages between red states and blue states. For example, here’s a breakdown of the popularity of the term “Yellow Pages” in the United States, according to Google Trends:

Yellow Pages in the United States

Things are clearly on the decline over time. In fact, Chris Silver Smith projected that if this trend continues, the yellow pages will be toast.

Google Trends also allows for state by state views of a term’s popularity. For example, here is what the term Yellow Pages looks like when filtered for Massachusetts:

Yellow Pages in Massachusetts

Notice the steeper decline than the national level.

Heading South, here is what Alabama looks like:

Yellow Pages in Alabama

Less steep than the national trend.

It looks like Louisiana has spilled the least amount of yellow blood over the past six years:

Yellow Pages in Lousisiana

And what city within Louisiana is the strongest? Metairie: the city that elected white supremacist David Duke to Congress in 1990.

What about Minnesota? The yellow pages decline is much steeper than the national average:

Yellow Pages in Minnesota

Of course, there are some cities holding out. Louisianas of the North, perhaps? Here they are:

Yellow Pages in Minnesota Cities

This may help explain why yellow pages companies have such a hard time understanding pushes for opt-out legislation in places like Minnesota, Oregon, and Hawaii. On the ground in places like Texas or South Carolina, yellow pages use may be holding relatively strong. I’m sure there are places that are practically a generation behind major US cities when it comes to Internet access. Without fast, reliable Internet access and the funds to buy a decent computer, the Yellow Pages are a rational choice for business information. That’s less the case in major cities, who’ve generally had access to 10+ years of high speed Internet access.

2 thoughts on “A Red State-Blue State Angle to Yellow Pages Popularity”

  1. But If you pay attention to distribution cutbacks and pullouts…..they are moving away from conservative Redneck rural markets like Bryan Tx and San Angelo tx and focusing on mass distribution…big mistake…

    The hyper local independants are killing telco publishers.

  2. As someone who lives in a largely rural state (though it does now have high speed internet service to most places), I have noticed the following about yellow page usage in this area:

    1. Young people (20 and under) are not using the yellow pages in hardcopy or online. They use their cell phones with some type of service (example: goog411) or they call family or friends to do a lookup.

    2. Smart phones (example: DROID) with built-in directory applications are definitely making inroads with older business users.

    It would be interesting to know the number of businesses which are opting out of yellow page listings (and spending the money on different means of getting their names in the public eye).

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